Below you’ll find an update on a new early childhood initiative and a legislative package to help Minnesota small businesses that is currently underway at the Capitol in St. Paul, and a reminder to file your homestead credit or renter’s credit property tax refund - and to take my legislative survey!
Last week, lawmakers introduced a package of bills to give all children a strong start in life by making child care more affordable, supporting child care providers, expanding access to care, and increasing infant and child wellbeing. The “Pre-to-3” legislative package targets investments and reforms that support children and families from prenatal to three years of age, a critical time period to ensure that children are healthy and prepared for success later in life.
The “Pre-to-3” package also includes investments and reforms to support child care providers. Some of the reforms include efforts to streamline and simplify regulations for child care providers and requiring that the Department of Human Services make prompt payments to child care providers.
The “Pre-to-3” package aims to increase infant and child wellbeing by increasing funding for home visiting and funding at-home infant care for new parents so more can afford to stay home with their babies. In addition, legislators would fully fund Early Head Start so at-risk children receive targeted care and services to promote healthy brain and social/emotional development.
To view details of the proposal, click on the link:
Next Generation Main Street Act
This week, House and Senate legislators joined small business owners at a press conference to push for passage of the “Next Generation Main Street Act,” an array of proposals designed to support small businesses across the state. We worked with Minnesota small business owners to bring forward initiatives that will reduce costly audits, simplify tax filing for businesses, and make it easier for owners to transfer their businesses to a next generation owner.
At the press conference, Danny Schwartzman, owner of a café in Minneapolis said, “these are some pretty common sense ideas that can go a long way to helping small businesses.” I hope we can work together to pass the Next Generation Main Street Act this session.
The Next Generation Main Street Act key components include:
Supporting Small Business Start-Ups & Entrepreneurs by making sure that every person that starts a small business in Minnesota is contacted and provided information about the resources available to them In addition, legislators are working to assist business start-ups with gap financing through the Minnesota Initiative Foundations.
Helping with Succession Planning by providing grants to Small Business Development Centers to provide transaction services to business owners and next generation, non-family proprietors to help them take over a business.
Streamlining Audits by simplifying the process to reduce the amount of time and money small business owners must spend on costly audits in a number of ways.
Simplifying Tax Filing for Small Businesses by enacting federal tax conformity so that Minnesota businesses can file taxes without delay and uncertainty in 2016.
Don’t Forgot your Property Tax Refund or Renter’s Credit
As a friendly reminder, don’t forget to file for your Renter’s Property Tax or Homestead Credit Refund. To see if you qualify, take a look at the Minnesota Department of Revenue’s Instruction Guide. The forms can be accessed here.
The Minnesota Department of Revenue also has information available on filing for free on their website. If you want to file yourself and wonder if you qualify for free electronic filing products or you want assistance from a free tax preparation site, visit this page.
Additionally, the IRS has free filing information available on their website. On the homepage of their website under the banner “Hot Topics” you will see a link entitled “Get Free Tax Preparation Help” or “Free File Tax Software”.
If you haven’t already taken my 2016 Legislative Survey, please do so by clicking the link here. I appreciate hearing from you on the major legislative issues before us this year.